Iowa GOP’s Congressional Candidate Peters Ditches Trump

Dr. Christopher Peters, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district, is announcing today that he will not vote for Donald Trump for president. His decision comes after the release of Trump’s 2005 comments where he bragged about sexually assaulting women. Peters will “abstain from voting in the presidential election,” according to his press release this morning. “A large number of former and current Republican politicians have now disavowed Trump,” Peters says in a column he’s publishing today. “All of them have far more political clout than I do, and to be honest, I don’t think people should care so […]

Cracks Start To Show In Iowa GOP’s Trump Unity

While the state party was as unified as ever for Donald Trump at the Republican Party of Iowa’s Reagan Dinner in Des Moines last night, two defections happened outside the fundraiser. Ankeny State Senator Jack Whitver was the first major Iowa Republican to publicly call for Donald Trump to step down as the party’s nominee this afternoon. State Representative Ken Rizer of Marion announced he would write in Mike Pence’s name for president in a lengthy Facebook post put up Saturday evening. This was after a wave of statements from Terry Branstad, Kim Reynolds, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Rod Blum and […]

Jeff Kaufmann: “Two Flawed Candidates,” Implies Bill Clinton Worse Than Trump

Republican Party of Iowa Chair Jeff Kaufmann responded to Donald Trump’s bombshell comments from 2005 ahead of the state party’s Reagan Dinner in Des Moines tonight, comparing Trump’s comments to Bill Clinton’s actions. “I find Donald Trump’s comments 11 years ago disgusting,” Kaufmann said in a prepared statement. “I condemn those kinds of comments when Clinton did those kind of actions, and I’ll condemn it again when Trump says those kind of actions. I’m going to be consistent all the way through, so hopefully you can see the sincerity in terms of this condemnation. I’m condemning not for my own […]

Time For Iowa Republicans To Abandon Trump

Wake up already, Iowa Republican leaders: this election is over. Donald Trump will never recover from the revelation of the 2005 tape that shows his abhorrent views on women and sexual assault. Yes, we’ve all thought any number of his earlier outrageous, sexist and racist comments would have done him in, only to be proven wrong. But this is different. It simply is. Your presidential nominee bragged about sexually assaulting women. “I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump said in the tape. “And when you’re a star, they let you […]

Disillusioned Young Conservatives Search For Identity In 2016

A lot of attention has focused on the Democrats’ difficulties with young voters – typically their best voting bloc – this year, but Republicans are dealing with a similar – if smaller – rebellion among their youthful backers. Donald Trump’s candidacy has many young Republicans and conservatives questioning their loyalty to the party and searching for different options. Some of those young ex-Republicans showed up at an event for Evan McMullin in Des Moines this past week. McMullin, an independent candidate drafted to give frustrated rank-and-file Republicans a conservative choice, drew a notably young crowd to his Des Moines event […]

Iowa Republicans Have Gone Trump

A guest post from House Leader Mark Smith As a lifetime resident of Iowa, I am proud of our state’s progressive history. We were vehemently opposed to slavery from our beginning days and we were one of the first states to call for public education for all children.  We were one of the first states to allow people of color to purchase land and Arabella Manfield’s admission to the Iowa Bar in 1869 made her the first female attorney in the United States. That’s why our motto – “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain” – has […]

Ted Cruz Positioned Himself Well For 2020 General, Not Just Primary

Oh, Ted Cruz. Never change. The Texas Senator stole the scene last night at the RNC convention by refusing to endorse Donald Trump in his speech. If there was any doubt why, he followed it up this morning by saying he wouldn’t be a “servile puppy dog” by endorsing a man who personally attacked his wife and father. The focus today is what it means for conservative voters in 2016 and Cruz’s almost-certain run in the Republican primary again in 2020. But Cruz achieved much more than positioning himself as the true conservative who wouldn’t follow Trump into terrible defeat. […]

Joni Ernst Gets Shafted At RNC, Probably For The Best

By the time Iowa Senator Joni Ernst finally took the stage at the RNC convention last night, the crowd in the arena was smaller than what she would typically find at a Montgomery County chili dinner. Ernst began her speech around 11:10 PM Eastern, missing out on the primetime spot she was supposed to have. It may have been for the best, however, as she proceeded to give a so-so speech that failed to capitalize on the former combat veteran’s personal appeal. The lead-up to her big moment must have been excruciating for Ernst. Melania Trump was moved up on […]

Iowa Republicans: The Most Pro-Trump Party In The Country?

“We need to support Donald Trump and his choice for vice president because he will make America great again!” boomed Governor Terry Branstad at the Republican Party of Iowa’s state convention this May. “We have an opportunity once again to make America great again,” Senator Chuck Grassley said in a warm introduction of Trump in Pella way back in January, one of the first Republican U.S. Senators to stand with him on a stage. “If you vote for him, Donald Trump, as the Republican nominee, the Republican Party of Iowa and this Republican chair will be behind him one thousand […]

Key Takeaways From The Iowa Primary Results

Iowans didn’t have to stay up too late last night to see who came out on top of the main primary races on both the Democratic and Republican side. For the most part things played out as people expected. Starting Line will spend part of the next week taking some dives into specific primary results and what it means for the general. For the moment, let’s take a look at some of the main takeaways from the night:   Hogg Keeps It Close, Has A Bright Future Things looked bleak for Rob Hogg when the Des Moines Register released a poll on […]